While you may be intimately familiar with the hospital where you plan to deliver your surrobaby, it's likely that your intended parents have never been there at all. And though you may have delivered there previously, you probably didn’t do so as a surrogate. Since this delivery will be a bit non-traditional, it’s important for everyone (including ConceiveAbilities and your intended parents) to become familiar with your hospital’s policies and procedures as they relate to surrogacy.
It’s a prescheduled meeting at the delivery hospital for you and your intended parents. The tour gives all of you the opportunity to meet with staff members from the hospital’s labor and delivery unit, take physical tours of the labor/delivery and postpartum areas, and learn important details regarding the specifics of patient and newborn care - as well as how hospital personnel plan to handle the details of your surrogacy delivery. You may meet with a social worker from the labor/delivery unit, a nurse manager or navigator, a childbirth educator, a financial professional, or some combination of these and other knowledgeable hospital staff members.
During the hospital tour, you will learn:
Your ConceiveAbilities Match Manager will schedule your tour at a time that works for you, your intended parents, and your hospital tour guide. If your delivery hospital is local to a ConceiveAbilities staff member, he/she may be able to join you at the physical tour as well. If not, your Match Manager will work behind the scenes to coordinate as many details of the day as possible in advance. On the day of your tour, you and your intended parents can simply meet your hospital contact at the specified time, relax, and enjoy the opportunity to ask questions, get informed, and see where the exciting event will take place!
Although there is no official rule regarding when the hospital tour needs to be scheduled, it’s fairly typical for it to occur while intended parents are already present in your town for another pregnancy-related appointment. In the case of traveling intended parents, this most often means that the hospital tour will occur on the same day as the 20-week anatomy ultrasound.
Attending multiple appointments on the same day gives you and your intended parents lots of quality time together at a very exciting point in the pregnancy. From a convenience perspective (especially for surrogates who work full-time, and for intended parents who have a limited amount of time to spend in town), it also works well to cluster the appointments on the same day.
Your Match Manager will work hard to ensure that all pertinent surrogacy questions are addressed, either before, during or after your hospital tour. If the hospital representative provides responses prior to your tour, your Match Manager will forward those responses to you and your intended parents. You can then take them with you to your tour, and use them as an opportunity to clarify or confirm details, or ask any additional questions that you may have.
If your Match Manager has not yet received answers to all of the pertinent questions, he/she will keep trying! In the meantime, you can also feel free to take the questions with you, using them as a guide to remember which details are important for you and your intended parents to know.
The routine questions that we ask cover topics such as: pre-registration requirements, insurance/billing details, arrival instructions, NICU information, availability of pumping equipment and lactation support, newborn safety measures, length of stay, visitation rules, and other logistical details.
Most surrogates find themselves looking forward to the hospital tour. Not only do they get to spend more time with their intended parents, they also get to celebrate an important milestone in a surrogacy pregnancy: the halfway point!
This day is often anticipated with eagerness by intended parents as well. In many cases, they report that the pregnancy finally starts to seem “real” for them; once they can see their baby more clearly, see him or her growing, and see where their little one will make an entrance into the world in just a few short months.
Here at ConceiveAbilities, we look forward to supporting you as you reach this significant milestone. We hope you take the opportunity to savor the moments that you spend with your intended parents on this special day. As you visit, you may be able to hear the excitement in their voices as they begin to realize that they’re moving closer and closer to their goal of becoming parents - all because of you.
Please reach out to us if you have questions regarding any aspect of the surrogacy experience.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.